BARFLY TOP TEN: Tamara Dawn of HITS
The Top 10 People I Love In RocknRoll That Make Me Love People In RocknRoll (2017 Edition)
1. Shannon Cannon
Shannon is an A1 World Class Top Shelf Human. She is somehow simultaneously all ticker, all smarts, all love, all staunchness, all practicality and logic yet all compassion and instinct. That kinda mix just don't happen often.
From her borderline illegal and harmful practical jokes on idiots she works with to her endless efforts and love to rehabilitate her dear daschund Bruce to walk again against all odds and massive financial hurdles, she is a wave crossing the full spectrum of traits of inspiring people.
Shannon takes this all into her music, I've seen it get pummelled outta her on stage playing bass like a war machine, I've seen it in the drive and focus with which she has forged Juliette Seizure and the Tremor Dolls (incidentally the majority of which are honourable mentions for this top 10), and I've seen it in the difficult, taxing and uncomfortable work she does/has done to earn money to fund music. I've seen it in the minimal twitch of her eye in place of a fist to the cock that she chose to use to respond to a dear and misguided friend of mine's amazement at her wearing a Dictators shirt ("a chick! Wearing a Dictators shirt!"). Shannon is the real deal whatever the hell that means to any of us.
Honourable Mention: Tremor Doll Graeme Cole (happiest man in rocknroll) and of course Bruce.
2. THE MEATBEATERS
THE MEATBEATERS ARE THE BEST FELLAS GOIN ROUND, YOU SHOULD ALREADY KNOW THIS. Ahem. The give a shit and don't give a shit in perfect amounts. They're brothers in the teasing and unconditional concern that comes along with siblinghood. They give a shit that sheilas are comfortable at gigs and everywhere else. They shred rooms apart when they play and then get off stage for what they really love, love. Oh and booze.
Also recently donated a generous sum to Bruce the Daschund's rehabilitation fund. ❤
3. Matthias O'Meara
Punter of the Year many years running. Matthias helps you feel like making rocknroll still means everything. You'll have a place to stay, you'll be taken for food in the best places (not at his place as he only has frozen gyoza there), you'll have an itinerary for entertainment and supplied with all necessities (even jumpers). He rarely misses a gig, I mean of any rock bands, and will frequently make it to more than one a night. He left a Springsteen gig early for a local one. He is evangelical about what he loves and loves converting virgins to the underground music that fuels his life. His love for it all has recently translated to starting a label Tuff Cuff Records. I love that he will get to feel like a touring rock band now, burning money and pumping the nads of the fee proud nerds we are left in the "scene". Ew, "scene".
Honourable Mention: Dan Beahan, wingman to the stars
4. Jason R. Stone (aka Stoney aka Mustang's Gunslinger)
When there is a war I want this man on my side. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to dig a bush grave through hard Queensland sun-baked clay dirt and rocks, and barrow a deceased and partially decomposed 60kg beast up a rocky hill to fill it, you will want someone as loyal as this by your side. Incidentally this happened yesterday and is why my Top 10 is late, sorry Barman.
This boy also has excellent, excellent taste in music. You are blessed those who have witnessed the sacred telling of the Stoney Origin Story beginning with being born, clad in double, nay triple, denim, out of a cosmic egg laid by the Cult. Excellent people, he helps me feel rocknroll is still as relevant as breathing.
Honourable Mention: His Mum.
5. Pretty much all the people at River Rocks every year (you know who you are).
Best atmosphere, best family reunion year upon year, 10 years running now. River Rocks is eternally just enough scumbag, just enough sweetheart. Pretty much a perfect cross section of all there is to love about dirty rocknroll.
Honourable Geelong Mentions: Jason (Buzz) Bee, Al O'Neil, Ricky J Chesshire, Mayor Ben Edy, etc etc etc
6. Mike Findlay
Yeah, obviously. This man is as sweet as his slow cooked brisket, which incidentally is incredible enough to un-vegetarian a number of us once or twice a year.
Mike is another soul important to rocknroll because he not only supports it, makes it, and supports everyone else who makes it, But he fosters a culture where that is the norm. When you're touring and you go through Geelong Mike will be the one hosting a barbecue to feed you up, and offering you a cup of mobey he collected from barbecue guests that always goes to the band who travelled the furthest to get there. Sweetheart King of boozy and well fed rockers, long may he reign
Honourable Mention: Mike's beautiful wife Bec, who smiles at the piles of dishes left as we like into cabs for the gig. No doubt the quiet is at times payment enough.
Ok, so I just needed/wanted to get our name out there, it's been a slow year.
Oh, and... they really are some of the funniest, most loving, most lazily talented, infuriating, inspiring, loyal, hilarious and mesmerising individuals I've ever met. True documentary worthy characters, each one.
Honourable Mentions: Me 👌🏾
8. Rebecca Rogers
That quiet and reclusive lady at all the rock shows that one day just lobs up to your band full of admittance of how your music is special to her life, complete with a 'care package' she has concoted for you all to ease the discomfort of being on tour. These care packages became a staple of running into Bec in Melbourne, each package tailored to the conditions of the season: gloves, scarves, sunnies, summer dresses, photo albums of graffiti round her neighbourhood, sleeping masks... a total angel in the wings who has become a beloved and valued friend. There is no one is rather ignore a shitty punk band too by sharing a set of headphones to listen to the Eastern Dark at a gig. Her support for me and my silly band has been something warm and welcoming to look forward to each landing in the bitter cold of Melbourne.
9. Running Wild
Who loves rocknroll as much as this character? Yes, we all love it, but if you've had the pleasure of rubbing up against Running Wild in Facebook land, you have brushed past a whole different kind of devotion. RW not just loves it, but loves it like the devoted high school boy who is best friends with a girl he really hopes to be more than just friends with someday. No moment to validate or compliment is missed. "No rocknroll, you havent gained weight at all! Dont listen to Billy, you're not fat. Your bottom has grown heavy with beauty, that's all. He doesn't know what he's missing."
He's downright emotionally supportive of rocknroll (assuming RW is indeed a gent) and those who peddle it. And, assuming same, RW is a purveyor of one of my favourite traits in a gent, that being the frequent and open expression of love and admiration for other gents. Never has a man called another man "Beautiful" so much. A frequent gold supplier on the Facebook page Seminal (and I suspect creator of said page), I often wonder where he finds precious little gems like he does and then imagine him burying his favourite photos and YouTube clips in hundreds of little holes in his backyard in an extension of devotion as yet unfathomable to myself.
10. Last Chance RocknRoll Bar (Melb, Leanne and Shane) and associated creeps
One year ago I met these healthily unhealthy alcohol doctors and gained two allies and inspirations. The bar they run felt like home the second I walked in, aided in no small part by the entire wall-couch tailored from gaffa tape. They give a shit about bands and can't stop promoting what they love when talking to you. They feed you. Their bar snacks back then were essentially just jaffles and at 5am tasted like calzones only before whispered about in the scriptures of rocknroll devotion.
Leanne is the greatest bartender alive in that she will tell herself to "leave the bottle, bartender" and join you for a seat and a chat about Tailor Swift or that football dude she loves over a bottle of Fireball. Go play there. Go drink there. They help me feel like what we do matters, and that it will get home OK...eventually.
Honourable Mentions: Stabby Dan and his assistance when the security guard didn't like us feeding Twisties to the New Years display Dragon.
Cc Chloe, the woman behind the Dan.
Tags: melbourne, brisbane, meatbeaters, Hits, tamara, dawn, river rocks, juliette seizure & the tremor-dolls, shannon cannon, last chance